ContentsQUICK ANSWER – THE BEST BIKE COMPUTERSCOMPARISON TABLE – THE BEST BIKE COMPUTERSBIKE COMPUTERS REVIEWSCATEYE PADRONECATEYE STRADAGIANT NEOS ANT+SUAOKI WIRELESSCATEYE PADRONE SMART+CATEYE VELO 9PLANET BIKE 8.0 PROTEGEHOW TO CHOOSE THE BEST BIKE COMPUTERSSPEED SENSOR CONNECTIONSWIRED CONNECTIONWIRELESS CONNECTIONADDITIONAL SENSORSCADENCE SENSORHEART RATE SENSORVIDEO – GCN ON IMPROVING CYCLING CADENCEDATA TRANSFER AND CONNECTIONSBACKLIGHTINGDISPLAY OPTIONS AND INTERFACE Do you need a dedicated GPS or a bike computer? If you want the most reliable speed and cadence records, you would definitely want a bike computer. GPS units can be inconsistent, expensive and battery-intensive. The best bike computer will record every second of your adventures, no matter where they take you. Some riders prefer a simple bike computer for ease of use. Others want the deluxe option with heart rate, cadence and power measurements. Whichever level of computer you choose, it’s great to have a dedicated unit that lives on the bike. Bike computers can also be an inexpensive complement to a smartphone GPS log. Cheaper, more durable and safer in rain, they’re the perfect handlebar display unit. Here at The Adventure Junkies, we want to steer our readers to the best gear for their rides. We’ve prepared this guide to help you get started on your own adventure. For more of our top mountain bike gear recommendations, check out these popular articles: Men’s Bikes | Women’s Bikes Pedals | Wheels | Tires | Brakes | Saddles Chains | Cranksets | Derailleurs | Gear Shifters Helmets | Lights | Computers | GPS | Pumps Shorts | Jackets | Shoes | Gloves LOOKING FOR A GIFT FOR AFELLOW BIKER?Check out our gift guide that includes 100 ideas to surprise your biking friends.From big ticket presents to stocking stuffers, there is something for everyone. VIEW NOW QUICK ANSWER – THE BEST BIKE COMPUTERS 1. CATEYE PADRONE VIEW AT REI 2. CATEYE STRADA VIEW AT REI 3. GIANT NEOS ANT+ VIEW AT JENSONUSA 4. SUAOKI WIRELESS VIEW AT AMAZON 5. CATEYE PADRONE SMART + VIEW AT JENSONUSA 6. CATEYE VELO 9 VIEW AT JENSONUSA 7. PLANET BIKE 8.0 PROTEGE VIEW AT JENSONUSA COMPARISON TABLE – THE BEST BIKE COMPUTERS PICTUREBIKE COMPUTERBEST USEWIRELESS?WEIGHTPRICERATING PICTUREBIKE COMPUTERBEST USEWIRELESS?WEIGHTPRICERATING CatEye PadroneOverallYes32 g$$$4.3 CatEye StradaOverallYes90 g$$$4.2 Giant Neos Ant+ANT+ ConnectionsYesN/A$$$$5.0 Suaoki WirelessBacklitUnit only68 g$$3.2 CatEye Padrone Smart+Smartphone linkingYes30 g$$$$$3.4 CatEye - Velo 9WiredNo113 g$$4.3 Planet Bike 8.0 ProtegeWiredNo91 g$$4.2 BIKE COMPUTERS REVIEWS CATEYE PADRONE Check out the latest price on: Amazon | REI BEST FOR: Simple, stress-free speed and distance recording with a giant screen WIRELESS: Yes WEIGHT: 32g PROS: Auto-pause, huge display, reliable, color variety CONS: No data transfer CATEYE STRADA Check out the latest price on: Amazon | REI BEST FOR: Reliable and highly accurate speed and time logging WIRELESS: Yes WEIGHT: 90g PROS: Auto-pause, large display, reliable, price CONS: Weight, no data transfer GIANT NEOS ANT+ Check out the latest price on: Jenson USA BEST FOR: Cyclists who want to record speed, cadence, and heart rate all on the same device WIRELESS: Yes WEIGHT: Unknown PROS: ANT+ connection to additional sensors, backlit, lots of functions, data transfer CONS: Price, cadence meter, heart rate monitor not included SUAOKI WIRELESS Check out the latest price on: Amazon BEST FOR: Strong backlight and cadence sensor for riders who don’t mind a wire between the cadence and speed sensor WIRELESS: Unit only WEIGHT: 68g PROS: Cadence sensor included, backlight, battery life, price CONS: Cadence and speed sensor are wired to each other, no data transfer CATEYE PADRONE SMART+ Check out the latest price on: Amazon | Jenson USA BEST FOR: Data junkies who want to link their GPS smartphone, heart rate monitor, and cadence and speed sensors WIRELESS: Yes WEIGHT: 30g PROS: Battery life, smartphone link, cadence and heart rate monitor, web upload CONS: Price CATEYE VELO 9 Check out the latest price on: Amazon | Jenson USA BEST FOR: Reliable and simple functionality in a wired computer with maximum battery life WIRELESS: No WEIGHT: 113g PROS: Reliability, no signal interference, price, auto-stop, 3 year battery CONS: Wires require more initial setup, no data transfer PLANET BIKE 8.0 PROTEGE Check out the latest price on: Amazon | Jenson USA BEST FOR: Multi-function display on a long-lived wired device WIRELESS: No WEIGHT: 91g PROS: Price, long lasting battery, no signal interference, customizable display CONS: Wires require more initial setup, no data transfer Gear up for mountain biking, without breaking the bankGet the Latest Deals on MTB GearSent right to your inbox...GEAR UP FOR MTB HOW TO CHOOSE THE BEST BIKE COMPUTERS SPEED SENSOR CONNECTIONS Bike computers are also called speedometers. The primary reason to own one is to know your speed, which is why every computer measures speed and time ridden. They do this by counting the number of times a magnet, usually on the rear wheel, passes a sensor on the fork or triangle. If you aren’t sure which part is which, see our previous article on mountain bike parts. WIRED CONNECTION The most basic sensors are connected by a thin cable. They can be harder to install, but won’t require a battery for the sensor. Once installed, they should be fine until you decide to buy a new one. They aren’t as popular today with an industry moving to internal cables and wireless components, but are great for riders who want to avoid interference or battery issues. If installation gets tough, see bike mechanic legend Sheldon Brown’s 17 tips on installing computers. WIRELESS CONNECTION Wireless sensors are the most common. They tend to work well but can run into interference issues with other electronic signals. Some of the wireless units can also work with other types of sensors, such as heart rate monitors. ADDITIONAL SENSORS CADENCE SENSOR Cadence is a measure of how fast your pedals turn, an important consideration for racers and anyone looking to improve. A cadence sensor can be the difference between a bike ride and a training ride. If you’re thinking about starting a training program, see our guide on mountain bike training. HEART RATE SENSOR Heart-rate monitors add another measure of exertion, even more crucial than cadence for serious racers. Race training is done in different heart rate “zones,” or ranges. Knowing your heart rate is important for structured training programs, but not always helpful on a group ride. If you want to learn about heart rate zoning, start with this guide from BikeRadar. VIDEO – GCN ON IMPROVING CYCLING CADENCE DATA TRANSFER AND CONNECTIONS Most data transfer is fairly straightforward and low-tech: Write it down in a training log. The higher end bike computers are more like a Garmin GPS or smartphone, though, and will upload or transmit the data to your computer. This isn’t a must-have feature for most cyclists, but it’s important to consider if you want to keep a digital record. At the highest end, bike computers can even sync with your phone, providing call details, GPS links, and more. BACKLIGHTING One of the most important features of any bike computer is the display. A good one is visible and easy to read at a glance; a great one is backlit and visible even in the dark. If you ride trails at night, dusk, or dawn, you’ll want a backlit computer. DISPLAY OPTIONS AND INTERFACE If you’ve already determined that you just want to know your speed, this will be an easy choice. Some units have as many as 15 functions, displaying average speed, top speed, time, calories burned or even an ecological metric like how much CO2 you aren’t emitting in a car. MOUNTAIN BIKING RESOURCESTABLE OF CONTENTSMOUNTAIN BIKINGTABLE OF CONTENTS 1. MTB BASICS 4. MTB MAINTENANCE 2. MTB CLOTHING 5. MTB SKILLS 3. MTB EQUIPMENT 6. MTB TRAINING 1. MTB BASICS 2. MTB CLOTHING 3. MTB EQUIPMENT 4. MTB MAINTENANCE 5. MTB SKILLS 6. MTB TRAINING Disclosure: The Adventure Junkies is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com. This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, we will receive an affiliate commission at no extra cost for you. We also use other affiliate programs like REI, LeisurePro, Diviac and Liveaboard.com.